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Playing hard with Krewella at GLOWfest, the DA interview

The September sun had just come down behind the hills of Morgantown, and our ears were ringing after one of Krewella’s bass-crazed sets. Thousands of adrenaline-fueled college kids filled a venue on the West Virginia University leg of the GLOWfest college tour. Sweating from a high-energy performance that centered around their recently released Play Hard EP, Chicago’s newest upstart group rolls into the back area looking to continue their night.

“We’re drinking this bottle of champagne together tonight,” Jahan of Krewella pointed to us and said. As she smiled before darting for the cooler, Krewella’s fans lined up outside the artist area, hoping to just get a glimpse or even a picture with their idols.

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It’s clear why the trio has grown such a quick following. A fitting reflection of their sets, the artists embrace the up-tempo 24/7 rockstar lifestyle, bringing everyone they encounter along for the ride. They have averaged five shows a week since Electric Zoo just over a month ago, but even after 20-something performances, they were still buzzing about New York’s premiere festival. Kris reflected, “Electric Zoo — wow, that was awesome. We’ve never seen that much energy before, but Canada and Red Rock [in Colorado]… they’ve all been great.” Even after the show, the group showed no signs of faltering despite the few hours of sleep they manage to catch every night.

Rising from their obscure roots in Chicago, sisters Jahan and Yasmine Yousaf and Kris “Rain Man” Trindl met in high school and toyed with various musical sounds. “Chris is the guiding constant in our production,” Jahan explained. “Yasmine and I play with a ton of ideas, but Chris has the foresight to determine what makes the final cut and what musical direction we should take.”

Krewella’s tracks do not reach the general public until every wobble, synth, and vocal has been fine tuned to perfection. With “over 30 tracks” currently in production, there is no set release schedule. Despite their popular sleeper hit “Killin’ It,” it was an earlier slower paced vocal edit of Skrillex’s “Breathe” that caught the industry’s attention. The trio was able to successfully showcase and define their distinguishing feature: in-house female vocals from the sisters.

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Behind the partying and recent stardom, was, of course, sweat and hard work. “Where we all are now — we did not expect this even nine months ago,” an appreciative Jahan explained. “This sounds really lame and cliche, but I still have a little notebook, a diary, that I was writing my thoughts in at the time we were producing most of our [recently released] music. I still remember writing on New Year’s Eve, ‘Staying in tonight. Wow I am lame,’ as the entry.” She laughed, “I had hoped that our songs would get out there, but I definitely did not expect this in nine months.”

Having performed at festivals like Electric Zoo and nightclubs like Surrender in Las Vegas, Krewella continues to maintain the fun accessible personality that made them such a mesmerizing act to watch. Their fans invaded the artist area, dressed in homemade Krewella fan gear, clutching posters, flyers, and frankly, anything that Krewella could sign.

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As the crowd returned to GLOWfest to catch the next acts (Bingo Players, Zedd, and Porter Robinson had yet to play), we found Yasmine spraying a fan covered in Krewella stickers with champagne. We can’t help but wonder where they’ll be this New Year’s Eve.

If you’re in the area, make sure to check out the GLOWfest tour at their next stops near Penn State and the University of Illinois. Watch their road trip here.

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